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Sacramento Coalition to Save Public Education Releases Statement Opposing Closure of 11 Sacramento City Unified Elementary Schools; Calls 'Process' District Is Using 'Flawed,' Urges Board to Reject Plan

SACRAMENTO – The Sacramento Coalition to Save Public Education joins the Sacramento Council of PTAs, Hmong Innovating Politics (HIP) and Sacramento City Unified teachers in opposing the closure of eleven Sacramento City Unified School District elementary schools.
 
SCUSD may need to close schools, but the process the district is using to arrive at this decision is flawed, said the coalition in a statement released Monday.
 

Sacramento Council of PTAs Speaks Out Against SCUSD School Closures

February 12, 2013
As we perform our work on behalf of families and communities across the Sacramento City Unified School District boundaries our processes are guided in matters of policy such as school closures by California State PTA's position statements. 

Sacramento Current--School Closures:"Too many Questions, too little time."

Cosmos Garvin's must read article raises many important questions about the districts push to close "under-enrolled" schools.  The future of district bond measures is one issue that hasn't been talked about much in the debate over the closures.  Just a few months ago the district sold voters on approving  two bond measures to upgrade school facilities. The district had detailed assessments made of each site to give the public some knowledge of where the bond money would be spent. Now two months later eleven of those elementary schools are proposed for closure.

Questions and issues for discussion at the school closure meetings:

Why is the district closing schools in the light of the passage of prop 30 and the Governor's new policy initiative to change the way schools are funded?  Sac City is 73% free and reduced lunch students. It could receive an infusion of funds.
 

Letter to the SCUSD Board of Education:

       For the past ten years, the Sacramento City Unified School District has closed schools piecemeal, even when attempting to put a process like a 7-11 committee in place. Now with its back against the wall financially,  the district believes it must close a large number of schools to remain solvent. To address the declining enrollment and over capacity in the district, planning should have begun by considering  the best way to serve the needs of all of the current population of students in the district.

SCUSD School Closure List Makes Some Students Winners or Losers

     The SCUSD school closure list is out and some of the criteria behind the selection of the schools on it has been revealed. Three of  the Superintendent's Priority Schools get a pass, despite the fact they are under enrolled. Oak Ridge was on a closure list two years ago because of low enrollment and  the poor shape of its facility. Now it will be a receiving school for students from Bret Harte and Fruitridge Elementary Schools.

Ginger Rutland on Michelle Rhee-Defending the Indefensible

Much as she did when reporters on her own paper revealed mayoral candidate Kevin Johnson to be a slumlord, Bee editor Ginger Rutland now feels it necessary in the wake of the Frontline episode to rehabilitate Michelle Rhee's image. In spite of allegations of widespread cheating, a campaign of humiliating teachers and administrators and wholesale closings of schools rather than attempting to improve them, Rhee gets a pass because of her "no excuses" philosophy for education achievement for children in poverty.

Smiley and West--The Conversation: Diane Ravitch

Touching upon Race to the Top, the Chicago teachers' strike and the privatization of public education, Smiley and West's conversation with Diane Ravitch points out that the struggles in public education--the "civil rights issue of our times"--are not just about race but also about class.
http://www.smileyandwest.com/this-weeks-show/the-conversation-diane-ravi...

My Letter to President Obama--Campaign for Our Public Schools

Dear President Obama:
 
I'm writing to you about your education policy. Although my children are no longer in the K-12 system here in Sacramento, I remain involved in our public schools because of their importance to the future of our country. It's clear to me that our public school system is being undermined by the very policies that are supposed to improve it. I believe that the focus of federal policy should be educational equity, not "accountability".
 

Campaign for Our Public Schools--October 17

Letters to President Obama
by Diane Ravitch
Great news! Anthony Cody, experienced middle school science teacher and fabulous blogger, has offered to coordinate our campaign to write President Obama on October 17.
We call it the Campaign for Our Public Schools. Anthony previously ran his own campaign called “Teachers’ Letters to Obama.” He is a champion for teachers, kids, and public education.

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